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Eat at Home, Live Longer — But How?

A new study suggests that sitting down to a home-cooked meal at least five times a week improves life expectancy. Do you make time to cook, or end up eating out?

It's been a hard day at work, the kids are acting up and the chicken needs defrosting.

Do you stay the course and tussle over a hot oven to perform a miracle at the dining table? Or do you grab your keys and head out the door to one of Gilroy's many restaurants? After all, it's not a life-or-death decision, right?

Or is it?

People who eat a home-cooked meal at least five times a week have longer life expectancy than those who opt to eat out, according to a study published recently in Cambridge University's Public Health Nutrition journal.

The 10-year study of 1,888 men and women over age 65 in Taiwan showed that subjects who cooked at home frequently were 47 percent more likely to still be alive after 10 years. 

Dining at home is better for children, too, in a variety of ways, as the New York Daily News reports. Children are more likely to excel in school and foster healthy relationships when they have regular meals at the family table, according to research. They're also less likely to drink, smoke cigarettes, or dabble with marijuana.

So, how do you balance home cooking with a hectic lifestyle? Or overcome the temptation to order in, take out or be waited upon? Share your thoughts, ideas and quick-to-fix recipes in the comments below.

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Sylvia Myrvold May 26, 2012 at 03:36 PM
We have always eaten mostly at home, even when the kids were little and life was so hectic. Hints? Cook large quantities on the weekend, 2 or 3 different things. Like, cook Chili Verde on Sunday , serve over rice and it's good for 2 nights, the last bit is wonderful in burritos for a third. BBQ tri tip on Sunday night, cut up veggies and use some on the grill, save the rest to add to stir fry with left over tri tip on Monday. Cook enough extra rice on Monday to use on Tuesday and Wednesday with the Chili. Roast some chicken on Sunday while you're cooking and use it for chicken salad sandwiches during the week, save some for Chinese Chicken salad on Thursday, serve your chili verde burritos on Friday and, there you are, back to the weekend. Restock the fridge with fresh fruits and veggies for the week on the weekend. Freeze some of the leftovers in individual portions, so you can microwave them when someone can't be home for dinner time. When our kids were growing up we actually spent a good deal of time watching tv with them as we ate dinner. It was relaxing and we had wonderful discussions and shared some amazing entertainment. They learned not to be mesmerized by the tv, how to be selective about what they watched, and we all enjoyed spending the time together. I know people say you shouldn't do that, but, if you do it together and allow people to talk during shows, it's fun and they can learn a lot. We used to freeze and send leftovers to college too, less eating out.

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